Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Letters From My Birth Mother

Sandra Ann Estes Lumley
1941 - 2005





My birth mother was a freelance writer and an artist. Her work actually won her awards. She was skilled at her craft. She died exactly one year ago. Today I accidentally pulled out her file of letters to me dating back to 1992. Letters that I could only read with half of my attention. Mostly as I received and read her letters through the years I did so with the belief that she was insincere. As much as I wanted to I could never open up to her or trust her words, feelings, or intentions. Too much water over the damn. Her mental illness made this process of reconnecting even more difficult.

Today as I reread many of them I find my head in my hands and tears pouring down my face. I wonder what might have been if I had been able to be more open and trusting with her. What if I had tried being closer to her? I wish so much that I had had a stronger heart, soul, skin so that I could have gotten to know her better. I guess I do not have the stuff inside to reface her after the first years of so much neglect and misuse of my innocence and babyhood.

She wanted to know me. Her letters are so full of questions about me. I don't remember what I wrote her in return. I am sure that I wrote something. I did always keep the door open to communication. My heart feels so broken in regards to my mother. I have always wondered what it would be like, feel like to be wanted in the way a mother wants her child. I have letters...I have words that I want to trust in these letters...I have memories that tell a different story than these letters. I still have that little girl who longed so for her mother. Somehow I don't think this little girl will ever not long for her. I wonder truly if we can talk to those who have passed away. Does she know that even at this adult age of mine that I can simply fall into a puddle of feeling around her? Does she know that despite everything I love her with every bit of me? Funny the way that works.

I hope when Danny, and Terry, and I made the choice to take her off life support at the end that she knew we wanted her not to suffer and to go in peace. Did she hear us all forgive her? This is the first time I have cried about her dying...one year later...all because I accidentally pulled out her letter file. Mom...I never ever called her mom...couldn't...she wanted me to...I just couldn't...but I say it now because I am not within her reach I suppose and a sense of safety in that rises in me...Mom...I love you...I hope you can hear me...

This weekend I travel to New York to do an adoption healing weekend with Joe Soll at Adoption Crossroads...this falling file is no accident...the one year anniversary of my mother's death coinciding with this healing workshop is no accident...I'm bringing the letters with me...am going to read them with braver eyes...

3 Comments:

Blogger Third Mom said...

Thank you for these beautiful thoughts.

7:59 AM  
Blogger suz said...

very very powerful post. i am a natural mom in reunion and i always wonder what my daughter thinks of me, IF she thinks of me.

and hey, i know Joe too. Just saw him last week. Have yet to get to one of his heailng weekends.

5:03 PM  
Blogger kim.kim said...

Beatiful. I write lots of letters to my daughter too. I wonder if she feels like you felt.
Beautiful, I am sorry you lost your mother. I hope the letters are of comfort to you. Anniversaries are hard.

1:43 PM  

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